Wildcat surf team rips it
by Misty Volaski
Who cares if Ojai's technically land-locked?
For years, the surfer dudes and surfer chicks of our community
have been pining for an interscholastic surfing team - and now,
thanks to Maura Foy, the school's aquatics director, Villanova
is competing with area schools in five surfing competitions this
It all started, Foy said, when a student, Kaley Swift, approached
her with the idea of a surf team last year.
"She loves surfing, and she's good at it. So I took it to
the headmaster (Tony Sabatino) and he was receptive to the idea."
From there, Foy researched the possibilities of an interscholastic
squad. However, it wasn't feasible to be driving the students
down to San Diego for every meet, she said, where the competitions
were usually held.
"Then I heard they were developing a section in this area,"
she added. "If and when they developed a new section, we
wanted to join."
The Interscholastic Surfing Federation, in existence since the
late '80s, had a meeting earlier this year to discuss whether
a new section should be added. It was decided that Malibu, Pacific
Palisades, Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos would form a new league,
and Foy called a meeting at Villanova to see how the kids would
respond to the idea of a surfing team.
"They were really interested. We didn't have a lot of time
before the season started, so we went with the kids with some
experience and ended up with 11 kids on the team," Foy explained.
There were several dozen kids at the meeting, some of whom had
never even swam in the ocean, Foy added.
"There was a lot of paperwork, because we were going to
be in the ocean," she said, but the kids never let down
To date, the team has surfed in three meets and has two more
scheduled for Jan. 12 at Topanga and Jan. 25 at UCSB.
In each meet, anyone who gets in the water with a board gets
three points. Then, based on their performance, the surfers will
receive more points. All points in this round are team-only points.
About 50 percent of the competitors go on to the second round,
which is individual. Trophies are given out to the best surfers
in each category.
Swift recently won a first-place trophy in her division, her
first ever, at Ventura Beach at California Street.
The team includes: Sebastian Christlieb, Zac Montgomery, Ryan
Kudla, Andy Malkin, Joe Stein, Nick Soille, Rachel Balderas,
Harry Evans, Jaclyn Orgel, Kaley Swift (captain), and Kyle Frawley;
they are coached by Foy.
"It's a great group of kids. The team's real supportive,
they're real nice," said team member Zac Montgomery. "Nobody
ever puts anyone down or anything like that. And, yeah, I'm just
happy we have the team. It's cool to say, 'Hey, I'm on the surf
team at Villanova Prep."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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SWIFT RIDES A BIG ONE as a few boogie-boarders look on. Swift,
a 17-year-old senior at VPS, is the team captain.